A parade of teachers, parents and students complained Wednesday about the new breed of Chicago schools President-elect Barack Obama touted the day before when he tapped Chicago's school chief to be his U.S. secretary of education.
The Chicago Board of Education meeting began with a standing ovation for schools CEO Arne Duncan. Board President Rufus Williams told a packed chamber that Obama had "identified Arne early'' but then "looked around the country to find the best person possible. He ended up with Arne.''
But not everyone was full of praise for Duncan's initiatives. With the school closing hit list due next month, teachers charged that CPS charter schools -- which have replaced some closed schools -- are "destroying'' neighborhood schools by luring away high-scoring kids. Meanwhile, they said, neighborhood schools are being forced to absorb low-scoring kids.
Jesse Sharkey, a Senn High union delegate, said that after a fight at a charter school in March, 19 kids showed up at Senn with letters saying they had been "dis-enrolled'' from the school. Charters "are allowed to kick people off the island,'' Sharkey said. "We're supposed to take all children. How is that fair?"
"I couldn't agree with you more,'' Duncan responded. He said CPS would investigate allegations of schools dumping kids for academic reasons. However, charters are allowed to create and enforce their own disciplinary code.Julie Woestehoff of Parents United for Responsible Education said the "turnaround'' at Sherman School of Excellence was actually "a sham.'' . . . .
"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Duncan's Charters Dumping Students: Parents Call Turnaround a Sham
After the standing ovation died down for Mr. Duncan at the last CPS Board Meeting conducted by Daley's appointed stooges, a group of parents from PURE (Parents United for Responsible Education) brought to the floor some inconvenient truths about the Chicago Miracle. From the Sun-Times: